Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying this beautiful day. This morning I studied, did food prep, stir fry etc, and went to my exercise class. Next is crafts in a few minutes. Keep praying for my cousin Susie as she needs a miracle!   
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Do we sometimes feel the Lord is hidden from us and we start doubting and wondering, “Where are you, God?” When we have trials of various kinds, sickness, or just feel bummed, do we doubt He is with us or that He sees and cares? No matter what we feel inside, we can go to scripture and find the nuggets of truth that lets us know how loved and cared for we are. 
I was reading what Ronald Rolheiser wrote about such times. Like a baby in its mother’s womb, he is totally surrounded by his mother and yet cannot see her with his eyes. She is present but the baby has to be born to see his mother. We cannot see God and yet we are enveloped by Him. We must first be born (death as our second birth) to see Him. The more we come into the Light of His presence the more He seems hidden as we are blinded by His brightness, just like when we are looking at the sun and we feel blinded. But as Rolheiser says we are not being blinded by God’s absence, but by the light of His presence. The longer we know the Lord it seems we realize the greater mystery He is and know we have so much more to learn of Him. Faith is required as His presence in us is hidden and rather quiet and gentle. He never forces Himself on us but waits for our response and respects our freedom. Just like the familiar picture of Jesus at our heart’s door knocking, the latch is on the inside and we are the ones who are to open to Him.
  I think we would all confess that we have doubts at times like Peter who began sinking when he looked at the big waves and felt the wind. Doubts come to all of us and we begin to sink when we try to go in our own strength and don’t trust the Lord. Maybe there are days we feel like we are walking on water and other days when we know we are not. It leaves us humble and more dependent on the Lord and we grow in maturity. We might say our relationship with the Lord goes beyond the Honeymoon stage when emotions are strong and full of certainty about our love. Marriage is more, for even though it has ups and downs and times of feeling distant, we are being drawn closer and deeper together as we face the challenges in life. Let us hold fast to our faith even when we walk in darkness.  As it says in II Cor. 5:7 (ESV), “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
Challenge for today: Don’t let your faith be determined by feelings, but by trusting in His promises, even in the darkness.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy